Regal Blue

Stephen Colbert makes a funny TV show

Posted in Uncategorized by gklarsen on October 10, 2009,0,7578205.story

There’s a nice article in the LA Times today about why does Stephen Colbert get so many things named after him.  You should read it.

One thing not mentioned in nor in the scope of the article is that Colbert’s divorced persona actually makes him more enjoyable than Stewart.  Stewart means what he says because he’s a real person, whereas with Stephen it’s assumed that you won’t take him particularly seriously at least as a character.  When I dislike Jon, I dislike the Daily Show.  When I dislike Stephen, it’s because he wants me to.  And when I like him?  All the better, as long as I’m in on the gag.

Secondly, there’s a real ‘alt comic’ thing going on with Colbert in that in any other circumstances you would hate his character.  If you didn’t know Colbert was a joke you would rightly think he was an absolute travesty of a human being, the worst kind of product of our narcissistic fox news age.  Take Sarah Silverman for a comparison.  Her act is you laughing at how ridiculously awful she is, while simultaneously challenging yourself not to agree with her.  Daniel Tosh is like that as well (pre TV show).  He is a bigoted, sarcastic jerk but the part that really gets you is that there’s some things he says that you can’t help but agree with on a visceral level.  And that’s the heart of it.  Jesus Christ, I’m not a jerk like this guy am I?  And it’s all fun.

Colbert doesn’t quite take it that far, however.  He’s so over the top that you’d never really catch yourself thinking, “hey wait, that’s actually a good point…”  which robs it of some of its sting, but of course opens it up to a wider audience.  Still, it’s rather unlike anything on television and it doesn’t take too much effort to recognize that a little change is prone to be desperately appreciated.

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